Suburra | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

There’s something wrong with this series.

They keep battling and killing and it doesn’t seem true. Then again, it’s based on real events, does that mean truth is stranger than fiction?

Everybody’s involved. From the local gangsters, to the government to the Vatican to the Mafia, with a capital “M.” We’ve all got to serve somebody, and “Suburra” is all about who we owe fealty to, and what price we pay for that.

Samurai is the local crook/gangster. But technically, he’s not in the Mafia. But he’s controlled by the Mafia. You see the Sicilians want to open a port in Ostia.

There wasn’t enough jeopardy for me, not enough at stake, and now I find out that said port was and still is the basis for a scandal in Italy?

I guess we’re all used to these movies where world peace hangs in the balance, where some force is going to take over an entire industry. So, the Mafia building a port just doesn’t seem that big a deal.

But then it is.

“Suburra” is beautifully shot. And beautifully acted. But, like I said above, they’re constantly at war, constantly negotiating new alliances, to the point where that’s almost all the show is about, along with the violence, which detracts from its believability. But maybe it is believable. Then again, it’s a prequel to a book, which was already the basis for a Netflix film and…

Who knows what is truly going on outside the United States?

Maybe that will change, as America descends. That’s one of the great lines, employed twice, that the party of the right doesn’t want to act like the Far West, i.e. the United States, that that’s beyond the pale. You see there are immigrants, and this creates anti-immigrant furor, and what can be done to make the anti-immigrant party, the right, win the election? What was and will be done by Trump and his cronies to stay in power? That’s what this is all about. You can read the facts in the paper, but if you want the feeling, if you want to know what is truly going on, you need to watch images, whether it be a movie or a streaming series, and read books.

So how come “Suburra” isn’t the talk of the town, isn’t a part of the American culture? Is it because it’s in Italian? They know our language, we don’t know theirs.

So, once you cross the line, once you sell out, once you’re compromised, you can never be clean again, you are always beholden.

That’s one of the lessons in “Suburra.” Not one that is absent from other movies/shows, but here it is reinforced again and again and again.

And what will you do to get ahead?

The system is rigged. It’s controlled and you might be able to get in the door, but you cannot ascend the ladder. Right now, in America, there’s no revolt against this. People seem happy with their flat screens. If they can party and have sex, that seems to be enough. But will that sustain? We’ve got the Black Lives Matter movement, but how much of that is based on income inequality?

You’re not even living in the same world. You can’t get into an elite institution, even though almost all of them are need-blind. Because your school system didn’t prepare you for it and you’re unaware of the opportunities. That’s for someone else.

Everything is for someone else in the U.S. today. Did you read Ginia Bellafante’s article in the “Times” yesterday?

“Lifestyles of the Rich and Reckless: Posh Pandemic Parties – Because money appears to be one of the best protections against the coronavirus, why not party like it’s 2019?”

You can’t get tested. And if you do, you can wait a week or more for the results. But the rich and connected get tested all the time, so they can interact with each other, party, live in their bubble like there’s no problem. David Solomon, the Goldman Sachs CEO, you know “DJ D-Sol,” made $27 million last year.

You think musicians make that kind of money? No way! The media always trumpets the gross. And you can be Bono, trying to save the world while you’re paying no tax as you park your money in the Netherlands, but if you’re a U.S. act you ain’t netting this kind of dough, and in truth neither is Bono! But now, the artists want to be bankers, corporate majordomos, and the bankers want to be musicians. Oh, what a world.

So, if you want to get ahead, just about your only choice is to be a gangster. As for owning politicians…in America it’s up front, elected officials are owned by their donors, corporations and bankers and…your money is irrelevant, unless you donated to Bernie Sanders, but the powers-that-be killed his candidacy. Because the billionaires and the bankers didn’t want it. Oh, the country wants Medicare-for-all, higher taxes on the rich, but the rich don’t want to play.

So, the bottom line…is America turning into “Suburra”?

At first the politician, Amedeo Cinaglia, is a milquetoast. An honest lawmaker stuck on the back bench. Hell, his first wife left him because he was going nowhere, but once he starts to ascend, she’s interested again. This is the truth, at the elite level women are drawn to power. Secondarily money. Thirdly looks. And, of course there are exceptions, but if you’re poor, powerless and unattractive you don’t get to date Charlize Theron or Bar Refaeli, never mind Gal Gadot. Those in power will deny all this, say it’s bad form to discuss, just like they’ll tell you taxes on the rich are class warfare. It’s gaslighting 24/7, to keep you down where you are, out of competition with them.

So, Amedeo, the politician, gets sucked in. But he knows if you’re not looking out for yourself, you’re gonna get bit. So he stands up to the boss.

Meanwhile, Amedeo’s wife says to do what is necessary…

That’s another theme in “Suburra,” not only the supportive spouse, but the spouse who is a partner. Who does the behind the scenes shuffling, who defends her man. Two are stronger than one. If you’re going it alone, life is gonna get hard. Best to marry once and have someone you can depend on.

Flipping over the page, Claudia Gerini is so beautiful, so intelligent, so cunning, that men cannot help but be attracted to her. And she refuses to lose. If she doesn’t have a chair anymore, she creates one.

And the money runs on dope. Which is another reason why drugs should be legalized. You thwart criminals, you keep the underclass out of jail and you gain tax revenue. Sure, it would be better if people didn’t do drugs, but the fact is they can’t refrain, people are not that pure, so acknowledge this. Just like all the people ignoring social distancing rules today… Who should we blame? OUR LEADERS, THE GOVERNMENT! We all stayed home and where did it get us…NOWHERE! And if you can’t party and screw, many people think life isn’t worth living. And they believe the law doesn’t apply to them anyway, that they can’t get infected, just like the people in “Suburra” believe they’ll never get snuffed, that they’ll remain in power forever.

And the criminals think on their feet, they adjust, they rule Rome, not the politicians. The politicians are so busy trying to stay in office that they’re beholden to this minor game, while those with the real money and power control them.

So, Felice opted out right away, “Suburra” was just too violent for her.

And, like I said above, the story was hollow, there was something missing and then…I got hooked.

We’re all human beings, but life is different around the world. It’s fascinating to peer into the lives of others. And some of the actors are so good, that it’s hard to separate them from their roles. And the good guys don’t always survive, everybody’s up for grabs, everybody COULD die, so it keeps you on the edge of your seat.

“Suburra” is not the best show on Netflix. But it is its own world, which you get sucked into, and despite my analogies to U.S. politics you’re completely engrossed, believing you’re living in Rome, not America.

I guess they could remake “Suburra” as an American series. EVERYBODY would be gorgeous, not that they’re so unattractive in this. (Then again, the Italians have style. Diet, put on the right clothing and you’d be surprised who is attractive.) And there would be more at stake, and it would be clearer, it would resemble a cartoon.

But since “Suburra” is a foreign series, it’s getting little traction in the U.S. when the truth is Americans love this stuff. Not that it dominates the theatre anymore, that’s for high concept dreck, superheroes.

Much of today’s entertainment leaves you with nothing to say. But watching “Suburra” you’re eager to discuss it with others. That’s what makes a society, that’s what makes successful art, the hangover, the inability to get something out of your mind.

So, I’m recommending “Suburra.” It’s imperfect, but you get hooked and it ends up a satisfying viewing experience. You want to know more about these people. How they got here, where they’re going, exactly what they’re willing to forgive, exactly what they want.

And kudos to Netflix for investing and making this series. Screw Paramount, Universal and Warner Brothers, they’re so busy pandering as to be irrelevant. Everybody knows who Ted Sarandos is, never mind Reed Hastings, almost no one knows who runs the movie studios today.

You’ve got the time. You’ve exhausted other viewing options, check out this series. I can complain about it, but the good outweighs the bad, by far, not that this is always true in people, especially the characters in “Suburra.”

Comments are closed